Ecclesiastes 2:25

25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?

Ecclesiastes 2:25 in Other Translations

25 For who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more than I?
25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
25 For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him?
25 Whether we feast or fast, it's up to God.
25 For who can eat and who can enjoy life apart from Him?

Ecclesiastes 2:25 Meaning and Commentary

Ecclesiastes 2:25

For who can eat?
&c.] Who should eat, but such a man that has laboured for it? or, who has a power to eat, that is, cheerfully, comfortably, and freely to enjoy the good things of life he is possessed of, unless it be given him of God? see ( Ecclesiastes 6:1 Ecclesiastes 6:2 ) ; or who else can hasten [hereunto] more than I?
the word "chush", in Rabbinical language, is used of the five senses, seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting: and R. Elias says F3, there are some that so interpret it here, "who has [his] sense better than I?" a quicker sense, particularly of smelling and tasting what be eats, in which lies much of the pleasure of eating; and this is of God; which interpretation is not to be despised. Or, "who can prepare?" according to the Arabic sense of the word F4; that is, a better table than I? No man had a greater affluence of good things than Solomon, or had a greater variety of eatables and drinkables; or had it in the power of his hands to live well, and cause his soul to enjoy good; or was more desirous to partake of pleasure, and hasten more to make the experiment of it in a proper manner; and yet he found, that a heart to do this was from the Lord; that this was a gift of his; and that though he abounded in the blessings of life, yet if God had not given him a heart to use them, he never should have really enjoyed them.


F3 In Tishbi, p. 109.
F4 Vid. Rambachium in loc.

Ecclesiastes 2:25 In-Context

23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.
24 A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God,
25 for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?
26 To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Cross References 1

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